Step Three

Made a decision to turn our will and our lives
over to the care of God as we understood Him.


Hi friends.

My name is Shlomo and I am a food addict and compulsive overeater. In this share we will give step 3 a little rest and give us some time to catch our breath.

I think it is now pep talk time. This pep talk is about deciding to participate actively in our loop. So it has some connection to the decision step, which is step 3, and of course it is connected to the 12 steps of recovery.

We have I think more than 300 members in our WTS loop, and most of them are lurkers. Maybe some of what I am going to say will give the silent members more incentive to participate actively in our working the steps, and will give the others some things to think about.

I will try to clear up some common misconceptions that are quite spread in our fellowship.

I hear people say in meetings, "I don't have to do anything since the only requirement is a desire to stop eating compulsively." They usually forget to ask themselves the requirement for what? It is the requirement to be an OA (Recovery Group) member. Being a member of a fellowship and being in recovery are not the same things. I can be a member till the day I die and never be in recovery, since being in recovery means working the recovery program which is all the 12 steps.

So in order to be in recovery I have to fulfill more requirements than just having a desire to stop eating compulsively, otherwise I can remain with my desire and stuff myself to death.

The second misconception is the following:

"I can take what I need and leave the rest, this applies to everything OA or the Recovery Group has to offer."

One could not be more wrong. This saying applies to what people share in meetings. It may even apply to some of the tools that are mentioned in meetings, but it definitely does NOT apply to the 12 steps. Either I take them all or I don't recover, it is that simple.

But you may say, "The steps are only suggestions so I can pick and choose, even the big book says so:"

"Here are the steps we took, which are suggested as a program of recovery..." page 59.

Well, it is a suggestion that cannot be refused unless we want to die of our fatal disease of compulsive overeating.

I can compare it to someone who will die unless he has heart bypass surgery. The doctor says to him, "This is your condition and situation. I suggest surgery, but you can decide not to accept and die from a heart attack. It is up to you."

Those are the kind of suggestions offered by the Big Book.

What the Big Book really means is that those are directions for recovery, and we have to follow them in order to recover.

"Much has already been said about receiving strength, inspiration, and direction from Him who has all knowledge and power. If we have carefully followed directions, we have begun to sense the flow of His Spirit into us." BB page 85, just after step 10.

If we want to be as God wants us to be:

"We are sure God wants us to be happy, joyous and free." page 133.

We have to live the spiritual life:

"The spiritual life is not a theory. WE MUST LIVE IT." page 83.

How do we do that? By working the steps.

The "Twelve Steps are a group of principles, spiritual in their nature, which, if practiced as a way of life, can expel the obsession to eat compulsively and enable the sufferer to become happily and usefully whole." AA 12&12, page 15.

So all you silent members please join us in action. This is an action program. Just hovering in the shadows will get us nowhere. If we want to recover we must work the steps. One way of doing it is getting a sponsor, joining this loop and participating in it. I hope to see all of you participate actively. That is what we are here for. We need your shares as much as you need ours.

"...recovery begins when one compulsive eater talks with another compulsive eater, sharing experience strength and hope." BB page xxii.

Hoping to hear from all of you soon. Let us trudge together "...the Road of Happy Destiny..." BB page 164.


1. You have probably used the slogan, "Take what you need and leave the rest." On what did you use it, and how did it affect your recovery process?

2. Did you use tradition three: "The only requirement for OA (Recovery Group, loop) membership is a desire to stop eating compulsively," as an excuse for not doing things?

If you did, than share about it.

3. Did you consider the steps as suggestions only and used that argument to pick and choose which steps to take and which not? What were the results?

Have a nice day.


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